Chunky Marinara Spaghetti

Nothing like a kick-butt spaghetti with a chunky homemade tomato sauce.

This is as simple as it gets, but it still bears the density, the flavor and the comfort we all love and need.














– whole-wheat/grain/etc. pasta, cooked according to instructions on package (make sure to add about 1 tbsp salt to boiling water)

– 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

– 1 large white onion, diced

– 2 cloves garlic, chopped finely

– 1 tsp salt and pepper, each

– 1 heaping tbsp of tomato paste

– 2 large tomatoes, chopped (don’t drain its juices!)

– sprig of basil for garnish (I used parsley, cuz I can)


Salt the water you plan to cook the pasta in. This is super important for flavor! I also sometimes add a good jooj of olive oil. A little trick for some even more flavor is to use garlic salt instead of normal salt.


Whole-wheat spaghetti, wassup.


Place the spaghetti in the boiling water, wait til it softens enough so you can bend it all in there. Then close the lid and when the water begins to boil, reduce the temperature to low, with the lid closed.



Now time for the chunky oh-so-delicious sauce. Chop the onions.



My garlic cloves were insanely small, so I had to use 4 or 5 where only 2 normal sized cloves would suffice. The trick with chopping garlic to a mash is to add a little salt after you chop it and begin smearing the edge of the knife back and forth over the mixture, pressing the edge of the knife against the cutting board. The salt helps release the garlic’s juices and make it more mashable.




Begin to cook the garlic and onions in 1 tbsp of oil over medium heat.



Add the salt & peppa and give a good stir.


While the onions and garlic soften to transparency, chop the tomatoes.



When the onions are transparent (this picture was taken a bit prematurely, but the onions will be a bit more obviously cooked on your end), stir in the tomato paste.




…then the tomatoes.


Let simmer on medium-low heat until the tomatoes reduce and the mixture resembles a sauce with chunky galore.


Remove the finished pasta from the hot water, drain it, rinse it to stop the cooking process, then return it to the now empty pot to warm up again before servings.



And plate.



Green garnish obligatory.


Bon apetit!





xo Aylin

Simple Sprouts

Brussels sprouts, that is.

Easy Baked Brussels Sprouts


– 2 cups Brussels sprouts
– 2 tbsp unsalted butter
– 2 crushed garlic cloves
– 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
– Salt & Pepper


Rinse the B-sprouts.

Cut off the top end of each sprout, but only enough so that it doesn’t fall apart.

And slice each one length-wise in half.

Take the 2 tbsp of butter and rub the bottom of a pan lightly.  When cooking, I prefer butter to oil.  When cooked, oil chemically alters, losing a lot of its healthful advantages. A little butter, therefore, actually becomes a healthier choice.  It’ll move with ease through your body. Also, it tastes awesome.

Place the halved Brussels sprouts face down in the pan.

Take off the skins of two garlic gloves, crush them, and let them cook lightly in a pan with the remainder of the butter you used to coat the bottom of the pan until the butter is thoroughly melted. Be careful not to overcook the butter. You don’t want brown butter, you want to cook the garlic just enough to release the taste.

Massage the garlic butter into the Brussels sprouts and season with red pepper flakes and Salt & Pepper.

Cook at 450 degrees F for 20 minutes or until soft–make sure to flip them about 15 minutes in.

Heat up your favorite marinara sauce and serve!

Voila! The great thing about this side-dish is that you can replace the Brussels sprouts with just about any other root vegetable–carrots, asparagus, broccoli, cauliflower, beets, etc. Never gets old.